Essential Oil Quality
For best results use a 100% pure, natural, therapeutic grade essential oil.
Make sure it does not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute the active qualities of the essential oil and is free of contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues. As important as it is to keep contaminants out of oils, assurance of the presence of their active compounds, at the right levels, is necessary to guarantee safety and effectiveness. Many oils claim to be therapeutic grade, and some may be pure, but few are subjected to rigorous testing standards for chemical composition.
To distill an essential oil which is potent and effective, it is important to select botanicals of the correct species, grown in the ideal environments (best if grown indigenous) and carefully harvested at the right time. The aromatic compounds of the plants should be skillfully extracted by experienced distillers using steam or compression distillation, and should be subjected to chemical analysis to ensure purity and composition.
Potency Begins With the Seed
The proper seed variety (species) and even chemotype for particular plants must be carefully selected so that the distinct molecular profile of the aromatic compounds produced by the plant can be achieved. For example, there are many different plant varieties and chemotypes for rosemary. The chemotype depicts the level of particular compounds within the oil composition which will determine specific health benefits.
Harvesting the Right Part of the Plant
The environment plays a key role in the potency or therapeutic value of the plant. Growing season, elevation, climate, moisture, soil, terrain, and pH all factor into the quality or potency of the essential oil produced. It is also essential that the right part of the plant be harvested. The aromatic compounds from the leaves of the plant will differ from what is produced in the flowers. For example, when you use the yellow flowering tops of the Helichrysum italicum plant from Corsica you will harvest the most dependable therapeutic benefits, but many essential oil producers will harvest the leaves and stalks as well to increase the oil yield of this delicate crop thereby increasing their profitability. This completely changes the composition of the essential oil.
Where Essential Oils are Sourced Matters
The best essential oils come from artisans who grow aromatic crops in the indigenous soils of their land and follow stringent growing and harvesting quality standards. Plants grown in traditional or indigenous environments yield better results because the natural elements specific to that region promote a more therapeutic profile of the aromatic compounds produced by the plant. For example, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil is indigenous to the Provence region of France. The high altitudes at which lavender is grown results in the plant having higher ester and sesquiterpene alcohol content, thereby increasing its therapeutic benefits. You simply cannot duplicate the rocky soil and Mediterrean growing conditions that are specific to this region anywhere else. Although lavender grows readily in the United States, the therapeutic values are not as beneficial because the growing conditions that exist in its native land cannot be duplicated. Where your oils are sourced matters.
Don’t know where to start? Not sure what quality grade the essential oils are you are currently using? Want to try a sample?
Please contact me. I’ll be happy to help you.